- Both California and Ohio have sports betting bills being discussed for legalization at the moment.
- While each state looks favorable to pass, California has an upcoming deadline of June 25 to finalize their efforts.
- The Ohio Legislature has more time to figure out the sports betting industry, as their session ends at the end of the year.
- A friendly wager may see the Golden State as having the best odds to be first of the two to pass legislation on sports betting for 2020.
SACRAMENTO – The race is on for which state will be next to make sports betting legal, Ohio or California.
In theory, both states look to be having positive results at getting their bills to their respective Governors for signature but the question is who will be first to take the plunge?
It’s a tricky question and yet, funnily enough, one that would make an enticing bet for gamblers to wager on.
The Legislative Status Of California And Ohio
On Wednesday, Representative Dave Greenspan of Ohio and sponsor of House Bill 194 followed up with LegalSportsBetting to say his bill had officially been passed in the House as of last week with a majority vote of 83 YEAS and 10 NAYS.
It will now be heard within the Senate committees where it had just been introduced.
In previous discussions with LegalSportsBetting, Greenspan was confident that OH HB 194 would pass in 2020 and it was merely a matter of when not if.
The Ohio Legislature has until the end of the year to pass legislation to make gambling on sporting events legal.
House Bill 194 would have the lottery as the regulator of the market and put almost all revenue gained toward the state’s education system.
Self-service sports betting kiosks would be found throughout the state for sports bettors should the bill become law.
Now California on the other hand is in a very different situation for sports betting legalization.
Bill SCA-6 has been on the shelf since 2019 and finally broke on through to the other side of the California State Legislature once the COVID-19 outbreak caused their already existing budget deficit to get that much bigger.
The first Senate hearing on Tuesday ended with passage by a vote of 9 YEAS and 3 NAYS to move forward to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
That hearing has been scheduled for June 9.
This bill has a deadline of June 25. If it does not pass through all the proper committees within that time span, then California will not see legalization in 2020.
Not only does California have 12 days from its next bill hearing to make it all the way to the finish line whereas Ohio has the remainder of the year, but it also wouldn’t make sports betting a legal pastime the way Ohio’s bill would.
SCA-6 simply allows for the topic of legal gambling on sports to be voted on by the constituents in the state of California on their 2020 November ballots.
Should they vote in favor of the activity, it would then be discussed in 2021 to plan out rules and regulations for the industry.
Currently, SCA-6 would make mobile and retail sportsbooks legal for any resident 21 and over to use at their discretion.
So, Who’s Up Next For Legal Sports Betting?
Will it be Ohio or California, that’s the million-dollar question.
Literally, both states will see a sports betting market with revenues in the millions. While Ohio has progressed further than California, the Golden State has a deadline coming up right around the corner and an estimated budget deficit of $54 billion to really push SCA-6 forward.
If a bettor were to weigh the two, while both look to be greenlit this year, California would be next in line to make sports betting legal. With only three weeks left to do so, look for California to expedite this matter and announce their legalization sooner than later.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.